Nina Davuluri, 24, has been traveling across the country during her crowning year as Miss America 2014. Although it’s a full schedule, she had an opportunity to visit with WRBI on Friday.
Davuluri is a native of Syracuse, New York and the first Indian-American to be crowned as Miss America. Davuluri graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science. She plans to apply to medical school in the near future.
Was it a dream of hers to be crowned Miss America?
“Its very surreal because it is something I grew watching as a little girl- and for it to actually come true is very hard to put into words, but obviously an incredible honor,” Davuluri said.
She explained that the crown is much more than the title. Davuluri uses her platform to promote STEM education, cultural diversity and help raise awareness and funds for sick children and children’s hospitals.
Davuluri is the National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. She will be in Cincinnati promoting IHOP National Pancake Day on March 4. They will give complimentary pancakes away in exchange for a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
As the national spokesman, she recently took part in a celebration where she had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama. Meeting the president was an honor, Davuluri said, but the children are who left a lasting impression on her.
“It’s just really incredible to see these children who have gone through so many treatments and illness, and have this celebratory moment with their family and friends,” said Davuluri. “You really get close to them.”
Davuluri reflected on other notables that she has met including, President Bill Clinton, actress Mindy Kaeling and she shared a suite with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler at the Super Bowl.
If she could give young women one piece of advice, what would it be?
“Be yourself, and I know that’s easier said than done especially in today’s society,” Davuluri said. “Know who you are, love who you are and stand up for who you are!”